Monday, August 07, 2006

The Preschool Hunt

This morning, I set myself the sorry task of informing the current daycare provider of my daughter that I was jumping ship. I'd been prepping her for a week or so, so it didn't come as a huge surprise to her. And she was a sweetie about it--even though I was leaving her for another home daycare.

Switching to another daycare wasn't the original plan. Zee original plan was to put Raina in a preschool, the babe being 2 years old. But as usual, the SoCal Sunshine Tax stood in the way. We in Southern California affectionately call the prohibitively high prices for gasoline, milk, produce, eating out, clothes, generally breathing in the rarefied SoCal air "the Sunshine Tax." You pay to live here--usually through your nose. Yeah, the same nose that breathes in the r. air has to breathe out mucho dollars.

Check out this San Diego suburban preschool I really liked, supposedly for above average kiddos. Cute hippie old lady showed me some very nice facilities, very artsy-craftsy, lots of emphasis on problem solving and enhancing self-esteem and making knowledge fun. Of course, the funniest knowledge for the parents at least was the price for all this: over $40/day for the hours of 8:30-11:30 three days a week. That's excluding a $225 annual registration fee, $300 a year for materials and, if your kid is unfortunately still in diapers, $5/day diapering fee. If I wanted her to learn Japanese, Spanish or music, what they call the enrichment classes, that would cost extra. And oh yeah, you have to give a non-refundable $45 screening fee--they really want to make sure your kid is above average before they let her inside their screamingly expensive environs. (One of their indicators for an above average kid was fascinating: a tendency to allergies.)

To top it all, it would've taken me about half-hour to drop her off.

So I checked out one closer to home, which was nice and everything. The price? Over $50 a full day for three days a week. Though, their annual registration fee was like $75 or something, they didn't have too many extraneous fees. But if you wanted those enrichment classes, you have to pay more.

So it' s hardly surprising I'm switching to another daycare, one with more "activities"--at least until Raina's 3. Then the hunt for a preschool shall recommence.